Choosing Levels

Why Swimming Ideas’ level structure makes instruction simple, effective, and robust. 

From Parent-tot through swim team competition we cover all the essential swim skills, prepare children and adults for competition if they want it, and quickly get swimmers moving. 

American Red Cross Level Requirements.pdf

Swimming Ideas Levels

Testable skills vs Good to know skills

Not all skills are the same and we want your level structure to reflect that. Focus on the essential testable skills instead of documenting and wasting precious time on your evaluations with “good-to-know skills.”

Do you are lesson coordinators need to be testing whether a child can enter and exit the pool? No. No need to document that. Instead, focus on whether a swimmer is comfortable moving in chest-deep water while following instructions during a guppies class or doing supported front glides with ease and comfort.

Our level structure is based around critical testable skills not all the nuanced good-to-know things that you could be doing with children or adults in a particular level. They are designed to quickly assess, evaluate, and share progress and development with parents. We want our lesson coordinators and managers to be able to quickly and effectively assess ability and deliver results.

The swimming ideas level structure is focused on a progression of swimming development from horizontal independent motion into swimming advanced competitive swimming strokes.

Testable skills:

Level 2:

  • Streamline 3 body lengths on both front and back (back can be in soldier)
  • Streamline and then front crawl arms for 5 body lengths (total).
  • Streamline and then back crawl arms for 5 body lengths
  • Introduced to fly kick

Good-to-know skills

Level 2: 

  • Diving for rings and going underwater 3′-4′
  • Keeping head above water without holding on to support (treading)
  • Starting and stopping in water cannot touch the bottom in
  • Changing direction 
  • Rolling from front to back float to breathe, then continue

How you define your levels will dictate how you run your program

It’s important to evaluate all the different options when it comes to choosing a level structure for your program. Consider established formats and effectiveness. Think about certifications and training, and think about how you are going to practically assess swimmer progress and development and communicate it to the parents.

The swimming ideas level structure reflects a simple structure while still addressing the complex and diverse skills associated with learning how to swim.

We have two main goals quick and effective level assessment and easily communicated progress updates to parents.

When looking at our level structure we defined the core critical 20% of skills that defined 80% of the progress for a swimmer. If we felt there was a superfluous skill or something that did not directly contribute to the swimmers swimming development into competitive ability we trimmed it from the testable skills.

Good to know skills are still taught and done within the lesson plans and even the swimming lessons but are not required testing or published skills on our public facing sites.

Choosing how you want to structure your lessons and levels will help make your level structure choice easier.


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